The Elfin Night
- 1. although plaid is modern English, it has different meanings depending where you are, and additionally a plaid in Scotland was different for a man and for a woman: a man's plaid was a heavy woolen cloak or blanket, while a woman's plaid was either a woolen shawl or her main item of clothing. I've replaced it with the appropriate word according to which of the two characters is speaking in each verse.
- 2. the box for keeping stuff in, not the upper front of the body
- 3. A draw-well is a deep well where a bucket on the end of a rope is the means of getting water
|thanked 12 times|
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This isn't middle English, it's a fairly modern version of The Elfin Knight (mdern enough that the man isn't an elf and isn't threatening to kidnap the woman) of which the oldest known versions date from the middle of the 17th century, more than 150 years after the end of the Middle English period. Besides, it's not in English at all, but in Scots.
[13 months later: I see that Bariscev changed the language from "middle english" to "scots" soon after I made that comment; don't know why Melmoth had confused the two, though.]
Of course it seems pretty certain that there were earlier version, possibly as far back as the Middle English period, because the tune used for the English version of this ballad (Scarborough Fair) sounds as if it might be that old.
There's a fairly decent wikipedia article that covers this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough_Fair_(ballad)
I reckon it's rather a pity that Ewan and Peggy both sing all the verses, instead of having Peggy sing the woman's verses and Ewan the man's.
The Elfin Knight
|1.||The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh|
|2.||The Elfin Knight|
|3.||The 51st Division's Farewell to Sicily|